Friday, 22 March 2013

European Road Trip Day 10 - French Alps (Friday 8th June)

We were staying in the chalet for two nights, and had scheduled in more of a rest day for today, after the busy pace of the last few days. It was not that great weather, and we woke to clouds covering most the mountains.
We decided to go on one of the hikes starting from the chalet, which the chalet owner had recommended to us. I took this photo of a map on the wall, and we figured that we could use that to follow.
Setting off through the meadow... Our legs were totally soaked within about 30 seconds!
We followed a track up the mountain for quite some way.
After a while the path we thought we should take was cordoned off (and we weren't 100% sure we were in the right place anyway, and the cloud was getting pretty low), so we decided not to go any higher up the mountain, and went back to a stream we had crossed, and played there for a while, making a dam.
In the afternoon we drove to a larger town to find a supermarket to get food for tea, and for the next day. We'd seen signs to a Super U, but when we found it, it wasn't open - it had had a fire! When we stay in France in the summers, we always go to Super U, and never the Intermarche or other supermarkets... We had to go to the Intermarche now though, and the kids were very disgruntled about it! They reckoned that the evil Intermarche had plotted to burn down Super U...
Anyway, after we had shopped, the car wouldn't start!! It had done the same thing the day of the Youth hike in Bedfordshire, and after a while it had just started up again. Scott had taken it to a garage, and they hadn't found anything. So we left the car for a while before trying to start it again a few times, but no joy.
We ended up calling our breakdown cover people. While we were waiting for someone to come, we speculated about what would happen. Because our garage hadn't been able to find anything wrong, we wondered if the breakdown people would either, and getting it fixed at a garage here in France might take a few days if they had to order parts or anything! We were wondering if the chalet would be free to rent for a few more days... The other option would be to be recovered back to our house in England. (I was visualising us all in a breakdown truck travelling all the way back through France and England!) We had got resigned to these outcomes - saying that we were lucky to have had almost all our holiday before the car broke.
The kids waiting in the car!
While this was going on, another Chrysler Voyager had also broken down in the same car park! The guy who owned it had actually come across to us, to ask if we could come and jump start him or something... we had to explain we couldn't start our car either!! (Not a great advert for Chryslers! - though we do love ours...) Here was his car being taken away!
Anyway, after a while our breakdown guy arrived, and within about 5 seconds of having the bonnet open, had got the car started! He explained that a wire to the starter motor had got loose, and just needed wiggling into place a bit, and for us to get the connection replaced once we were back home.
That was an interesting supermarket trip anyway!
We spent the rest of the evening just chilling out in the chalet.

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